A man's body was found along the shoreline adjacent to Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley yesterday afternoon, an East Bay Regional Parks District police lieutenant said. -more-
Berkeley police have reopened streets in a popular downtown area after two suspicious packages were found to be harmless, a police spokeswoman said. A suspicious package was delivered to a business in the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley police Officer Jennifer Coats said. -more-
University of California at Berkeley police are investigating a suspicious package found near campus this afternoon. -more-
A busy thoroughfare in downtown Berkeley has been shut down and some businesses evacuated this afternoon as a bomb squad investigates a suspicious package, a police spokeswoman said. -more-
Berkeley City Council to Decide on Appeal Brought by Former Tenants of Fire-Ravaged Building with History of Landlord Negligence
Lakireddy Bali Reddy, owner of 2227 Dwight Way, allegedly disconnected fire alarms from the building prior to the fire. Shortly after 7pm on October 29, 2013, the Berkeley City Council will hear an appeal on the fire-damaged 2227 Dwight Way property brought by several UC Berkeley students and alumni, including two former tenants and signed by nearly 30 immediate neighbors. The building was completely destroyed after a fire broke out in the early morning hours on March 8, 2012. -more-
Time and again over the past several decades, the Pentagon has staged "war games" inside US cities -- Kingsville, Texas; Oakland, California; Pittsburgh; Chicago San Francisco and elsewhere. These so-called "humanitarian exercises" are actually a pretext for honing techniques to seize control of the "Urban Battlescape" inside the US. This investigative report (versions of which originally appeared simultaneously in the Bay Guardian and the East Bay Express) focuses on the Pentagon's "Urban Warrior" exercise staged in San Francisco and Oakland in 1999.
From a paper presented at the "Cities and the New Wars" Conference at Columbia University, New York, September 2009. -more-
The Peter M. Cukor family's lawsuit against the city of Berkeley police was dropped unexpectedly, Tuesday, in exchange for what their attorney's called the department's "three changes…" in dispatcher policies which "will help prevent similar tragedies in the future." -more-
A bat infected with rabies was recently found in the area of the 1500 block of Spruce Street in the City of Berkeley. Although the bat was removed without incident, residents in Berkeley and the surrounding areas are advised that Alameda County has been a “Rabies Area” since 1958. -more-
New: Hidden History—1983: Before the Invasion
A Reporter Visits Grenada and Disproves Ronald Reagan's Rabid Rhetoric
Thirty years ago, the US launched a vicious military attack on the small Caribbean island nation of Grenada. President Ronald Reagan claimed a new airport under construction was intended to provide Russian aircraft with a strategic base in the Americas. Reagan claimed a "submarine pen" was under construction. In March 1983, a reporter from Berkeley visited the site to investigate and uncovered evidence that exposed the Pentagon's claims as a fabrication -- a pretext for war. The assault on Grenada was to be the first of a long string of foreign invasions based on a foundation of official lies. -more-
The statistics about the student loan crisis are appalling enough, as many excellent articles attest.
A few samples: Student Loans Are Becoming a Drag on the US Economy ; Student Loan Defaults Surge To Highest Level In Nearly 2 Decades ; The Student Loan Debt Crisis in 9 Charts ; and more.
But even more appalling than the statistics are the stories. Ask around among your friends and acquaintances and you’ll soon discover a whole lot of young people who are saddled with debts that they didn’t expect or understand and which they can’t get out from under. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Are Ancestors Haunting Hearst Gymnasium?
Berkeley council upholds affordable housing exemption for rebuilt ...
Berkeley to raise downtown parking garage rates
Cal must improve athletes' graduation rates or replace Barbout
Testy response to proposed Walgreens on Solano Avenue
State physical fitness test shows varying levels of healthiness among Berkeley High students
How money can buy happiness, wine edition -more-
Equations of Peace
An Iranian Woman’s View on How to Integrate a Divided Globe (Mathematically Speaking)
غلام همت انم که زیر چرخ کبود ز هر چه رنگ تعلق پذیرد آزادم
In March, as a female mathematician, skilled astronomer and noted professor left her university near Cairo, a mob surrounded her. They attacked and brutally killed her, burning her body. The thought of a woman engaging in philosophy and mathematics so outraged local religious leaders that there was no penalty for her killer.
This happened 1,500 years ago, but even today, religious issues, ethnic prejudices, and political divisions have historically prevented the progress of women in science and society in general. -more-
I was struck by two articles in the current issue (10/28/13). First was The Public Eye: The Politics of Hate which details the paranoia as well as forces behind the extreme right's political views and activities. On the other hand we had One Nation, Under Guard: How the Pentagon Trains for Martial Law in America. It presents the extreme left's paranoia. Both of these dystopian, if factually correct views, reflect the division and extremism that seems to be more and more common worldwide. -more-
The diplomatic fallout of NSA spying continues. Last month, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil cancelled a state visit after news reports that the N.S.A. had intercepted messages her messages and had conducted espionage on the state oil company, Petrobras. The German newsmagazine, Der Spiegel, revealed the NSA had gained access to communications to and from President Felipe Calderón of Mexico when he was still in office. The French newspaper, Le Monde disclosed that a large number of French citizens private communications had been captured by the NSA. -more-
Is there a way of dealing with conflicts so that gun violence becomes unnecessary? Often people will not stop to consider someone else’s point of view. But while we undergo training in finding common ground even with our adversaries, we can create a kind of time out. Let us stop gun exhibits and enforce gun control laws strictly. -more-
Local non-profit so-called affordable housing developers including Affordable Housing Associates, Resources for Community Development, and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation have teamed up with local and national organizations that are pushing for Rental Assistance Reform (RAR) legislation to be passed in the House and Senate, that is harmful to the poor.
The non-profit organizations are pushing for rental assistance reform (RAR) legislation that will result in fewer Section 8 housing choice vouchers for the poor, higher rents for public housing residents, and the acceleration of the privatization of conventional public housing projects into privatized mixed-income residential housing developments for higher income renters. Developments that are being promoted by so-called non-profit and for profit affordable housing developers who want to get their hands on public housing properties locally, and all across the nation. -more-
In 1999 I was asked by some of the then long time residents of the Albany landfill to come out to the bulb and advocate for those who were being evicted, some them after living there for over 10 years or more.
At the time the City of Albany had no services whatsoever for the homeless and their only design, that became very clear by the end, was to dump their homeless problem on the City of Berkeley. The residents of the landfill then as they are today came from places all over the state and country.
I watched the City of Berkeley spend 100's of thousands if not millions of dollars on the people they ejected from the landfill, most of whom eventually died on our streets. With the help of a non-profit they paid a nominal $13,000 they shifted their responsibility to their homeless to Berkeley. -more-
One can hardly blame Albany for electing not to house its homeless, not to square up its 1999 obligations to the Bay Area Governments’ Housing Needs Plan, and for spending $330,000 not on housing subsidies but on police, clearing vegetation and belongings, and inaccessible trailers for a few people for a few months who have lived for years at the Albany Bulb landfill. Why not? The city of Berkeley and the media are more than willing to describe it all as benign, humane, and just part of making the Bulb a nice park. -more-
The backlash against the Sierra Club for joining with Citizens for East Shore Parks in lobbying to incorporate the Bulb into East Shore State Park is not surprising. The San Francisco Bay Chapter, in the May issue of their newspaper, the Yodeler, states the rationale for their action. It gives a very troubling image of the group. The story is titled “Changing the Albany Bulb – creating a bright spot on the East Bay Shoreline”. Apparently in order to “create a bright spot” the first step requires evicting the people who are camping there, people for whom the Bulb is their home. Why is this Sierra Club chapter participating in evicting people? The mission of the Sierra Club is the maintenance and protection of the environment for the enjoyment of the people. It does not mean only certain people, only the“right kind” of people. -more-
As the U.S. and its allies prepare for another round of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, powerful and wealthy opponents—from the halls of Congress to Middle East capitals—are maneuvering to torpedo them. At stake is the real possibility of a war with consequences infinitely greater than the 2003 invasion of Iraq. -more-
In 2008, I was in line to hear Barack Obama’s Denver acceptance speech when I encountered protestors holding signs: “God Hates Obama.” I told them I didn’t believe in a God of hate and one of the protestors yelled back, “And God hates you!” It was my introduction to the politics of hate that has characterized the Republican Party for the last five years. -more-
Prior to the invention of atypical antipsychotic medications, people took older meds such as Thorazine, Haldol, Stelazine, Navane, and Prolixin--most of these came into existence beginning in the 1950's. The older drugs had some nasty side effects. The atypical ones have side effects as well. -more-
Arts & Events
Theater Review: '444 Days'--Golden Thread Founder Torange Yeghiazarian on Iranian-American Relations-LAST WEEKEND
Quick flash of an image: Bedside in a hospital, where a lovely young woman lies unconscious, on an audible respirator, as another woman raises her head, covered with a scarf or shawl, from the bed at the sight of a male figure in trenchcoat with briefcase hovering in the hall light through the open door ... -more-
"there is more here than memory"
George Stanley, one of the finest Bay Area poets of the 50s and 60s, who moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in the 70s, is back in town for his first local reading in 15 years. Much of his poetry since his move north has been published in Canada, and is often unfamiliar to American readers, even those who know what he wrote when part of the circles around Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan in San Francisco from the late 50s. It's a shame; Stanley's is a unique voice in North American writing, one that has evolved continuously without losing touch with its original impulse, only gracing it with changes of perspective, adding to his discovery and exploration of what it is to be a poet, to be a person, a human being in these times, one among others, in the anonymity of cities and institutions--and in the familiarity, yet strangeness, of small towns. -more-
"Remember, if you find a fork in the road—take it!"
The Satyr's advice or dare—tossed off by a lusty, snorting Valentina Emeri as the half-human animal, or half-animal human—is taken up by the whole troupe as Inferno Theatre's cast appears to endlessly expand in number throughout their new show, each player taking on a new shape, as they proceed through the tangled intricacies of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses,' in company founder Giulio Cesare Perrone's deft, charming, yet often shadowy adaptation of Ovid's own adaptation of the transformations of classical mythology. -more-